More Triumphs with Microelectrodes

Alan J. McComas

in Galvani’s Spark

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199751754
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199897094 | DOI:
More Triumphs with Microelectrodes

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Eccles leaves New Zealand to take up a position at the new Australian national university in Canberra. He had already successfully applied Hodgkin’s new microelectrode recording technique to motoneurons in the cat spinal cord. In Canberra he is able to show the contrasting changes in motoneuron membrane potential induced by excitatory and inhibitory stimuli respectively. These intracellular recordings extend the indirect results obtained by David Lloyd at the Rockefeller Institute slightly earlier. Eccles also demonstrates that the motoneurons release acetylcholine, not only at the neuromuscular junctions but at synapses in the spinal cord. With postdoctoral and visiting fellows from around the world, Eccles then leaves the spinal cord and embarks on comprehensive investigations of different regions of the brain.

Keywords: John Eccles; Canberra; David Lloyd; Rockefeller Institute; intracellular recordings; motoneurons; excitatory potentials; inhibitory potentials

Chapter.  5674 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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